2017 Awardee: Ali Watson

"I am extremely grateful for my Dewar Arts Award."


Originally from the North Coast of Scotland, Ali went to school in Bearsden.  He discovered his passion for jazz while playing bass with the East Dunbartonshire Schools Jazz Orchestra, and was taught classical double bass and jazz double bass at the RCS Junior Conservatoire as a scholarship student.  In his sixth year of school he joined the Music School of Douglas Academy where he had classical lessons.

Ali has played with ensembles including the Strathclyde Youth Jazz Orchestra (conducted by former Dewar Arts Awardee Alan Benzie), the Play On orchestra, the National Youth Jazz Orchestra of Scotland at the BBC Proms, and a NYJOS Futures collaboration.

Described as a ‘truly special musician’ by his tutors, Ali combines a natural affinity for music with a genuine passion and exceptional skillset.  His ambition is to become one of the top jazz bass players in the UK and to play in a world-class contemporary ensemble.

“In twenty years of jazz education I have rarely come across a student as talented and diligent as Ali” – Tutor, Guildhall School of Music and Drama.

How the Award Helped

Ali’s Award supported him in developing his talents further, through a new instrument and study at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama.

"I am extremely grateful for my Dewar Arts Award."